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Media Coverage of the Rally

All it takes is one ill-considered moment to ruin everything. (The picture itself is worth 1000 words) The woman who is being shouted at we’re pretty sure is an activist we’ve seen before at the Doylestown counter-rally, who was moving among the pro-gun people attempting to antagonize them. One guy on the pro-gun side got tired enough by it to call the cops over, who promptly told the woman to chill, and please return to her side of the rally.

But here the bait was taken, and they got what they wanted. Objectively, it is an excellent photo. As soon as I saw it online late last night, I figured that was front page worthy, and would be there the next morning. Both the Courier Times and the Intelligencer did as predicted. Our side has to be supremely careful, especially in hostile media environments, which this area undeniably is.

40 Responses to “Media Coverage of the Rally”

  1. chiefjaybob says:

    Man that sucks. And now that’s the only image the fence-sitters and the low-information voters will see and think of:

    The Angry White Man screaming at Grandma on Mother’s Day, as she clutches her pearls. And all she wants is the reasonable, common-sense, compromise measure of background checks. Who can possibly be against that? He’s probably a neo-nazi, too.

    Ugh. But it’s hard to put up with agitators in your midst, and not have a split-second image like this. They’ll never see nor hear the nasty, harping old lady gaming for a fight.

    • Bitter says:

      If it’s the woman we think it might be, she’s has previously not been mean and nasty. She just knows how to play the “I’m a little old woman and they can’t be mean to me without looking like jerks” card really, really, really well. If it’s the same woman as the last rally, she seemed kind of surprised that the cop actually told her to cut it out. She didn’t cut it out, but she did get much more subtle about it.

      That said, I think you’re far too lenient in this situation. It’s not hard to put up with this and ignore her. I did. Many others have before. Everyone recognized her for what she was, and there’s not a single thing to be gained from engaging with these hardcore anti-gun activists in person like this with the media around. There was nothing screamed at her that was ever going to change her mind, even if it was said in a more orderly manner.

      There are times it’s not a complete waste to discuss things about or with your political opponents – even the ones who won’t change their minds. But a rally meant to drum up their grassroots is not one of those times.

      • chiefjaybob says:

        Gotcha. So, she’s kind of a Joan Peterson, then?

        • Bitter says:

          I would say that Joan Peterson is more relevant because she’s a leader in the anti-gun movement. Even then, this would not be the place to try and approach her as an obvious pro-gun person.

  2. Robb Allen says:

    And now we see why it is NEVER in the best interests of gun owners to do ANYTHING publicly, right?

    I told you, the media hates us. It doesn’t matter if we’re 100% peaceful, they’ll capture a photo of someone in mid-sneeze to make it look like they’re screaming at the top of their lungs at some elderly man in a wheelchair.

    You need to stop worrying about how the media will portray ANY event because time and time again, it is proven to you that they will twist it to make us look bad.

    • Bitter says:

      I don’t think you’re looking at the full picture of media coverage of the rally. We posted earlier this week about how, shockingly, the main sponsors of the rally had actually “won” in the press and even taken things to the point of the media shaming the anti-gun groups for purposefully trying to disrupt little league games with their political rally. All the pro-gun folks had to do was show up and represent the cause well. The guy in the photo admits that this was not a case you present that misconstrues the situation. He admits that he lost control of his temper at this woman. The picture represents exactly what he was doing. This isn’t a case of how we can never win no matter how we behave. This is a case of someone who helped snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

    • Dave says:

      I’m guessing your degree is in shock tactics and not in public relations.

      Maybe you should research the failure tactics of ActUp and how the turned people off from their cause.

      You’ll never be respected if you’re disrespectful and that photo screams disrespectful goof. The 1000 words in that photo say nothing good about gun owners.

      • Robb Allen says:

        *SQUAAAAAAAWK* RUIN IT FOR EVERYONE *SQUAAAAAAAAWK*

        • Dave says:

          What you’re doing is a textbook example of what not to do or what is done by someone who does not know what they’re doing. Your assertion that the media is lost shows that you think you can’t win them back and you’ve adjusted your tactics to those of desperation shock tactics – like OC. You really have no plan beyond the abrasive in your face stunts you’ve pulled in the past, only now you’re set on doubling down on the negative attention gathering. The self appointed shock activists like you are becoming the poster faces of the gun control/safety/reform movement. They cite your stunts as reason for more legislation and raise funds off the material you give to them.

          One day you’ll come to the conclusion that you’re not as smart as you think you are and the PR campaigns should be driven by professionals who have a plan and know what they’re doing.

          • Robb Allen says:

            That’s a good parrot. Here’s your cracker!

            • Sebastian says:

              OK… ok… I’m going to have to break this up before someone takes a swing here :)

              • David says:

                Robb just keep going with the same tactics that have not worked in the past. Why he thinks they would work now is beyond me. Then again, desperation kicks into overdrive when people are in over their heads and called to explain their actions.

                • Robb Allen says:

                  Dude, you called me an attention whore, your opinion isn’t worth anything especially since you seem to think I’m anything but professional in my duties. I’ve been on camera several times and have been calm, reasoned, and well dressed and I implore all our members (repeatedly) to put their best foot forward when going out.

                  In fact, I’m very adamant that during OC fishing events that nobody be IN YOUR FACE about anything. But I’m also smart enough to know I don’t have the same information as someone in other parts of the state / country and don’t automatically start denouncing the tactics of other people.

                  For this, you insult and denigrate me.

                  Pardon me if I take what you say with the same amount of concern as a Brady twit.

  3. Instinct says:

    And he’s wearing one of those douche bag “Oathkeepers” shirts. That group isn’t helping anyone on our side, and their so-called leader is a hack

    Gag.

    • Stephana says:

      oath keepers are douche bags? I care to differ.

    • Mininerd ISH says:

      As Pogo put it, “we have met the enemy, and he is us.” The camo-clad redneck and tacticool military slogan t-shirts are a persistent branding problem for “our side.” Just as the Che t-shirts and black flags can be for theirs. But in a hostile meadia environment if 1% of a pro-rights rally is the sterotypical ‘angry redneck militia dude,’ he’ll get 99% of the press attention. If 99% of the counter demonstrators are paid SEIU plants and World Can’t Wait communists the cameras will focus on the one normal person.

      The best option for us, really, is to adopt a cultural meme of attending all rallies in business-casual or Sunday best. Shirts and ties for the men and boys, blouses and slacks or skirts for the ladies, and those adorable little floral print sun dresses for the girls. We need to dress like the Waltons, not the Wolverines. If you must engage a counter protestor, do so with your hands behind your back in a parade rest manner, speak as calmly as you can, and NEVER point at anything.

      Does it sick to always have to be the better party? Yep, but we’re the adults in this, right?

    • HappyWarrior6 says:

      I see nothing wrong about Oathkeepers. It’s an organization with LEO and military members who have sworn an oath, well, not to kill us common gun owners if given unconstitutional orders to confiscate guns. Anyone are any problem with a group like that? What’s your beef?

      • Mininerd ISH says:

        I don’t have a beef with the organization, per se, I just think that the pseudo-military t shirts and sloganeering “don’t play in Peioria.” It’s about the image we present when photographed by a hostile media. A dude in a militant t shirt yelling at Grandma looks a lot different than a man in a shirt and tie speaking calmly to her.

  4. Thirdpower says:

    Look at the smile on her face. She’s eating that attention up.

  5. Alien says:

    Based on Bitter’s and Mininerd ISH’s comments, we should all dress like 18th century Puritans and avoid attending any pro-gun events because we might say, or act, like we believe in the pro-gun philosophy.

    Sorry, I’m with Robb. Front and Center, Full Court Press. The media is liberal and anti-American, they will never like us. Get over it. If we have the correct philosophy, if we have sufficiently sized balls, we’ll present our side of the argument with factually-correct passion. Today, tomorrow, ever day. And we won’t stop until the majority of people recognize that our side is telling the truth.

    If we run and hide every time some media asshole shows up with a camera we’ll all be hiding in our basements.

    • Bitter says:

      Where did I say you should dress like a Puritan? I actually think Mininerd’s dress standards would make us all look like a mass of people looking to convert one’s soul instead of simply expressing an opinion and hoping to find a little support for it. I would wonder if a massive group of people in such identical clothing was a cult if I drove past it. I think people should look pretty normal.

      What I am more than happy to say again is that getting into a screaming fight with an anti-gunner old lady visibly smaller than you who is dedicated enough to her cause to participate in a half hour march and stand in the pouring rain is not productive. It crosses over into absolutely unproductive for the cause when it is the above-the-fold front page of two newspapers on Mother’s Day. In fact, I actually proved in my response to Robb that until this man lost control of his temper and allowed this situation to be photographed and spread around as the primary image of the rally, the local group of grassroots gun owners was winning the media battle on this, even when the media had to grudgingly admit it. Gun owners were winning, even in the midst of organizing a contentious counter-protest, then some guy decided to present the face of gun owners as screaming and filled with rage at little old ladies smaller than him.

      • HappyWarrior6 says:

        I don’t see that from the picture. I see an argument, and most people always know there is a back story to this stuff. The lady is clearly smiling and provoking from the picture. She coughed and spat at him. Would any of us had been the better to not respond? I know I’d like to think I would, but none of us are above someone else who reacted the way he did after being spit on.

        • Jake says:

          I know I’d like to think I would, but none of us are above someone else who reacted the way he did after being spit on.

          I have to agree with this one. For some reason, spitting causes a pretty visceral reaction in a lot of people. I will put up with a lot of abuse from patients, but other than physical violence there is one sure way to get me to go for the physical restraints, and that is to spit at me or my crew.

          • HappyWarrior6 says:

            If you want to know how cops react to someone spitting at them, well, just watch an episode of COPS. Needless to say it’s not too pleasant for the spitter. ;)

            • Jake says:

              Agreed – and I’ve seen it in person, too.

              To be fair, though, there are enough serious diseases that can be spread by spitting that it usually falls under the legal category of “assault and battery” in many – if not all – jurisdictions.

      • Mininerd ISH says:

        I didn’t say Puritan either, I said business casual. You know the sort of non-provocative, non-confrontational, boring clothes you wear to the office everyday? There’s a world of difference between “square” and “missionary.”

  6. Andy B. says:

    The guy in the picture is identified as Andy Rumbold. If it is, he was one of the pro-gun organizers. I don’t know him personally, but I would have judged from some very brief email exchanges I’ve had with him that he was too smart to get baited into something like that. (I am not saying that self-righteously; I have attended anti-war rallies as a sympathizer, and been baited into fistfights by “pacifists” who disputed my ideological purity; point being, I can be and have been baited.) Also, Andy Rumbold is an elected Constable, I believe from Perkasie Borough — an LEO in Pennsylvania.

    Do you want to know what my first reaction to that photo was? I wished that when our guys went to “gun rights” rallies, they would leave their T-shirts promoting other organizations and agendas at home. Guns is about guns is about guns. That your organization sympathizes with my gun rights is great, but that doesn’t mean I want to shoulder your whole agenda or your tactics for promoting it, and when you advertize it at a gun rights rally, you are providing evidence that we are all one big stereotype that is easily dismissed with a label or two; which we are not. You have every right in the world to promote anything you want to, of course, but, a little courtesy in that regard would be worth considering.

  7. Andy B. says:

    The guy in the photo is identified as Andy Rumbold, who was one of the organizers for CGOBC. I’m surprised he bit for that. (Though I’m not saying I wouldn’t have; which is among reasons I’ve avoided rallies for awhile.)

    Also, I understand he is an elected Constable, from Perkasie Borough, I think; i.e., an LEO in Pennsylvania.

    I wish if people anticipated the possibility of biting for this stuff, they would choose not to wear T-shirts promoting other organizations, not linked directly to the gun rights movement!

    • HappyWarrior6 says:

      I was not at the event this Satirday. If i’ts the same guy I’m thinking of, he was in Harrisburg during our pro-gun rights counterproductive in February. There was a lady who was picking a fight about his constable jacket. Wonder if it was the same lady. If so, what am annoying person she was.

      Also, I see nothing wrong about Oathkeepers. It’s an organization with LEO and military members who have sworn an oath, well, not to kill us common gun owners if given unconstitutional orders to confiscate guns. Anyone are any problem with a group like that?

      • Andy B. says:

        It is not my intent to debate Oath Keepers, per se. I think their premise is outstanding, in principle. I have some problems with its execution, but it is not appropriate to discuss that here. I have no intention or desire to offend Oath Keeper fans. (FWIW close friends of mine are friends of PK founder Stewart Rhodes.)

        The problem I see is that associating any single issue, such as ours, with organizations that have a broader focus, can be and has been used to reduce our own movement to a stereotype, with the distinct danger that that will become self-fulfilling over the long term; then the fortunes of the single issue may stand or fall with the political fortunes of that stereotype.

        I will present an example that I will make deliberately absurd to make my point: Do you think our crowd would have some complaints about someone showing up wearing a NAMBLA T-shirt and carrying a pro-gun sign? Would there not be some discussion of the dangers of associating our issue with something unrelated? Well, that cuts in every direction, even when we as individuals are big fans of whatever else is being promoted.

        • Sebastian says:

          That’s pretty much my position on Oath Keepers. I think it’s a great idea, but I also have some issues with the execution.

        • HappyWarrior6 says:

          Fair enough… And, yes, I think I’d be pretty upset seeing someone wearing a NAMBLA t-shirt holding a “come and take it” sign in a press photo. I don’t believe I would be out of the ordinary in my righteous indignation. ;)

          Also, I apologize for my ridiculous autocorrect.

    • Andy B. says:

      I just want to make clear that the apparent double-post (subject-wise) above resulted from the website hicupping both times I tried to comment, and I assumed they had not been digested. I was surprised to see both appear when I signed on this morning.

      I am not so fanatical that I feel compelled to sat the same thing twice.

  8. Hank Archer says:

    I’m curious what this woman’s tactic is that she can be successful in provoking this sort of response. You seem to imply that she is a regular attendee and that she uses some sort of technique to provoke her opponents. Apparently even the police were able to realize what she was doing and that she was a “troublemaker.” What is it that she does?

    • Rob Crawford says:

      Sling insults? Use the normal gun-grabber rhetoric?

    • HappyWarrior6 says:

      Reports are that she consistently trolls these events and has coughed and spit at this individual or other individuals. Either way, I think the image was what you’d call an “argument” and it happens. There was no “hands on” behavior. The woman was smiling from it because she was obviously out to antagonize.

      • WhiskeyWasOnceMoney says:

        So put video on her the second she shows up, and keep it on until she leaves. Hand her off from person to person if need be. Organizers ought to be able to handle this, and to make sure anyone who Smells Like Provocateur gets at least some Unblinking Eye time until one’s bona fides are established.

  9. Kenny Brockelstein says:

    The photo is very unfortunate. Hate to say it but Sebastian and Bitter are right. I will remember this the next time I hear people complaining about paying the salaries of lobbyists who show up in business suits carrying talking points and who refrain from yelling and pointing in the face of grandmother-types. Image matters. The image represented in that photo is an embarrassment to our whole movement. It’s everything we don’t want to be.

  10. mike says:

    The problem with these types of events, is that they attract exactly the types of people you don’t want showing up.

  11. mikee says:

    So I read the post, and scroll down expecting to see a picture from the antagonistic anti-rights bigot from the rally, and instead there is a cute young lady in a tight spaghetti strap tank top, advertising T-shirts.

    I think I got the better of the deal.

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